The Dark Side of Hethmin

By
The sun shone brightly on Artem's pale face. As she trekked up the grass and tree covered hill to the small hut (Located on the island of Ashla) she called home. Bark for the roof, oak for the walls, and thin transparent leaves for the windows. Under each slightly green window a small flower box resided. Within each flower box were the most exquisite red and gold flowers.



Artem was a blonde haired girl. She had deep forest green eyes that had a faint glow of yellow around the rims. She always wore brown and green colored clothes. Her hair was ratty and full of leaves, but that was not any different than usual, her hair was always like that.



She climbed the three stairs made of roots and opened the door to her home. As she stepped in her nose picked-up the familiar smell of cat, bird, lizard, and forest. She placed her gnarled old staff against the grained wall. Then she removed her dew and leaf covered cloak and mud encrusted boots. She took her pouch from her belt and extracted the herbs and mushrooms on the table that was in the center of the room.



"Glazear," she yelled with a smile. "Lenon," a moment later she heard a flapping of wings from behind the door.



She heard the happy call of Glazears' voice as he thought her name. ' Artem,' She walked up to the door and twisted the handle.



"Glazear," She yelled. Glazear was a brown and black griffin about as big as a horse. His rippling muscles and gleaming feathers made Artem smile with memories. "I missed you old friend." She said, walking up to him.



'I've only been gone a few days Artem .' He thought casted with slight humor.



"I still missed you." She parried.



'And I you,' He thought, humorously.



Then, they suddenly heard a sound and, rustles coming from the bushes. A male lizard about thirty six inches tall with scars and wounds covering his entire body, and yellow eyes emerged from the bushes. He walked over to Artem and Glazear with a manly grace. The funny thing about this reunion was he was standing on his hind legs carrying a stave 20 inches taller then himself.



"Artem, Glazear." Lenon said nodding as he said their name.



"Hello, Lenon." Artem said cheerfully.



'Lenon,' Glazear said with his thoughts. ' Was your trip fruitful?'



"Yes, thank you for asking." Lenon replied.



As they talked, Lenon quickly sent a warning thought cast to Artem and Glazear. ' Go inside the house, we have company. Wait for my call of safety and don't come out till I tell you to.' Artem knew better then to doubt Lenon's word. She had gone threw major mishaps because she had not heeded his words. So, naturally she went inside with Glazear close behind.



Artem walked inside. She was tense but, not enough to not notice the things around her. She looked around as she walked to her bed in the corner. The hut was small, just enough to house a Griffin, a large lizard, and a 16 year old girl. There was only one room and a trapdoor above so Glazear could land on the roof if they were in a hurry, there where also cabinets full of spices and herbs. A small hearth with two chairs and a squishy velvet textured rug in front of it resided in the opposite corner from Artem's bed. The last things in this small yet homey abode where books, tons of books. They covered every inch of the wall that wasn't occupied by something else. Artem and Lenon loved to read. They would stay up late in the night reading and enjoying each others thoughts.



'Artem, Glazear.' Lenon thought. ' You can come now. We have a special guest I believe you are going to be very glad about.'



Glazear and Artem walked out of the hut, down the three stairs, and swiftly trotted up to Lenon who strangely enough seemed to be talking to a tree. Artem could do that but, Lenon? She stopped behind Lenon when they heard a deep male voice laugh about a remark Lenon had made. She then saw him.



He protruded from the shrubbery in a dark cloak with a slight gleam in his eye. His hair was blacker then ravens wings, a pointed nose, a strong yet non-trusting chin exceedingly pale skin and sunken cheeks. But, with a kind expression; astonishingly, giving him the appearance of a handsome gentleman: with very good intentions in mind. He also had a thick black shadow lightly cloaking around his body. For, he was the king of the dead.



"Keiltyr," Artem said, baffled. "Keil?" She said, jumping out of her current stupor and running to his side, acquiring a hug from her friend.



"Artem, you don't know how much I missed you." He said to the queen of nature, a large smile appearing on his lips.



"Oh, Keil I missed you too!" She said giving him another hug, which he warmly repeated towards her.



"Shall we go inside?" Lenon said, motioning towards the hut.



"Of course," Keiltyr said holding his arm out for Artem. She took it and they walked into her house like a royal party, heads held high and bright smiles playing across their faces.



You would think that this man would be the villain of this tale but, quite the contrary. Keil's sister, Tanukia was the queen of light. But, he was no bad person. He was a pure gentleman with as I said before, good intentions in mind. He was a king of one of the eight islands of KATISHDA. A founding father if you will. Their small party now entered Artem's even smaller house.



"Keil," Artem began excitedly yet, cautiously. "Are you alright? What

are you doing here?" Lenon stood up from off of the bed that he was

sitting on and went to make blueberry tea for their guest.


'Artem,' Glazear thought. 'I think something is troubling Keiltyr, question him so we can assist him.'



'I think,' Artem began. 'He is new to his powers. Let him understand them. I wouldn't be able to control them they can be dark and blood thirsty powers. We need to give him time to get used to them, to master them.' Keil was still thinking how to answer Artem's question when Glazear and Artem finished their talk.


"Artem," He started sadly as if he knew what they had spoken about. "Artemis, I don't want to scare you but, I am losing control of my 'abilities'. They are overwhelming my very being. I could kill you right now. Artem, I can't sleep for the night calls me. I can't see Kadensia, my love, for fear I may hurt her. I don't, I won't hurt you but, I needed someone to talk to that is alive!" He said this in a rush yelling the last sentence. Now his face was gripped tightly in his hands, his hair flowing slightly over them.


"Keil," Artem said gently with a motherly tone. Then the teapot whistled

loudly. Lenon quickly ran to the fire and pulled it off. "Keil," Artem began again, kneeling in front of him. They spoke deep into the night his struggles, his grief, all poured out of him.



Finally, as the dawn drew Artem took his hand and with all the warmth of nature and deep sincerity said, "You will master your powers I know you will. It just takes time. I know the good side of you. You are one of my best friends. I love you like a sister. But, Kaden truly loves you. She needs to hear from you. Give me a letter to give to her, she needs to know. You still love her too. Sharing that love will strengthen you both, that's how it works you know." Keil nodded stiffly his face still in his hands. "Will you help me?" He requested solemnly.



"Of course," She replied without thought.



Artem gave him a quick hug then, stood up and put her boots, pouch, and cloak back on. She gripped her staff then walked back over to Keiltyr. "Keil, we should go."

Keiltyr stood up slowly and walked over to one of the few cupboards. He opened one, producing a stack of parchment paper, quills, and ink.


He dragged a chair from the fire and pulled it up to the table.

Then, the pen began to dance. He wrote and wrote. At the end he stifled a cry and signed:



To, my dearest Kadensia,












-Keiltyr


He quickly handed the note to Artem then stood up and walked toward the door. Artem, hastened after him. Lenon stood holding the tea pot. "What a waste of good food." He said in disgust. He offered some to Glazear who rejected it, flying up to the trapdoor which he opened with his beak. He then flew after Keiltyr, the king of the dead and Artemis, the queen of nature.





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